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2014-03-14 RDG-002
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Millions of passengers benefit from over £220m in station improvements


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Rail Delivery Group

Millions of passengers benefit from over £220m in station improvements
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2014-03-14 Passengers to benefit from over £220 million station improvements (Department for Transport)

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date
14 March 2014
source Rail Delivery Group
type Press release



Transport Minister Baroness Kramer has officially unveiled a completely refurbished rail station for Wokingham, representing the 400th station to benefit from the National Stations Improvement Programme (NSIP).

The £6million project at Wokingham has been funded by NSIP, in partnership with South West Trains, Network Rail and Wokingham Borough Council, and has delivered significant benefits for the station’s passengers including:

o A new modern station building
o An improved transport interchange for taxis, buses and car users and a drop-off area
o A new, bigger waiting area with more seating
o A larger booking hall and improved ticket facilities
o State-of-the-art passenger information screens
o New toilets including wheelchair accessible facilities
o New cafe

Set up five years ago with £150 million of Government funding, the cross-industry NSIP has brought better stations to millions of passengers in England and Wales, far exceeding original targets. NSIP aimed to deliver improvements to a minimum of 150 stations between 2009 and 2014.

Wokingham represents the 400th station to benefit from the programme, and the number continues to rise thanks to the success of the rail industry in attracting external funding for local improvements, with total investment topping £220million.

Wokingham station’s renovation was funded by NSIP with additional contributions from South West Trains and £1.5million from Wokingham Borough Council.

Tim Shoveller, managing director of the South West Trains and Network Rail alliance, along with Cllr David Lee, Wokingham Borough Council’s leader, welcomed Baroness Kramer to the new station.

They were joined by John Boon and Ian Bullock, co-chairs of the NSIP Board, and Michael Roberts, director general of Rail Delivery Group.

Tim Shoveller said: “Wokingham station has been transformed with a new station building that feels more spacious and welcoming, enabling passengers to pass through the station more quickly and easily. Together with the redesigned forecourt area and additional car parking spaces, Wokingham station is now fit for the 21st century.

“During this franchise we have invested over £50m in our stations as these provide a gateway to our rail services. We have greatly valued the partnership working with Wokingham Borough Council on this project.”

Cllr David Lee, Wokingham Borough Council’s leader, said: “Improvements to the station have been a long term aspiration of the borough council. I am delighted residents, and those who work in the town and use the station, now have a better travel experience thanks to this investment. And more improvements are set to come this autumn as work is progressing well on the station link road. The new link road is the key element and provides a public transport interchange in the heart of our town, benefitting commuters and visitors alike, but will also go a long way towards easing the current traffic backlogs that choke our town centre.”

Michael Roberts said: “The National Stations Improvement Programme is a very successful example of cross-industry collaboration. The five year programme will have delivered more than £220m of improvements at over 400 stations. Train companies and Network Rail have worked closely with local groups to focus on station improvements that benefit passengers most. Research by independent watchdog Passenger Focus has found a 30% increase in satisfaction where NSIP work has been carried out. We are committed to continue and build on NSIP’s achievements over the coming years.”

Rail Minister Baroness Kramer said: “This scheme to improve our stations has been a real success, and Wokingham, the 400th station to benefit, is a great example. We have delivered £220 million worth of improvements to 400 stations in England and Wales. It is making a real difference to the people who use our railways and is a great example of the rail industry working with local partners to benefit passengers and communities. The government is investing record amounts into transforming our railways and I look forward to the continued success of this programme.”

David Sidebottom, acting chief executive of Passenger Focus, said: “Our research shows that investment in stations can improve passengers’ satisfaction with them. This is particularly true when targeted at features which make a difference to their experience. This includes waiting rooms, arrival time information, toilets and the overall look and feel of the station. The investment from NSIP is therefore vital for improving passengers’ experiences around the country.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

1. Outlined in the 2007 white paper ‘Delivering A More Sustainable Railway’, NSIP was set up with £150m from the Government with the aim of seeing a minimum of 150 medium sized stations improved over the five year period from 2009 to 2014.

2. NSIP has a national board to oversee the programme, but has a local focus; each train company formed a Local Delivery Group (LDG) jointly with Network Rail’s local management. LDGs are responsible for NSIP projects and involve other parties such as passenger groups and British Transport Police in drawing up plans to meet local needs.

3. To date, 261 projects have been completed under NSIP, delivering improvements at 409 stations. Improvements include:

o Better accessibility, with more ramps and DDA-compliant facilities
o Improved customer information
o Refurbished ticket offices and booking halls
o Installation of CCTV to improve security
o New public toilets, cafes and waiting rooms

5. A study undertaken by Passenger Focus in May 2012 found that there has been an average 30% increase in satisfaction with the station environment where NSIP works have been carried out.

6. Over the course of NSIP, contracts to the value of £8.4million have been placed locally, helping to support regional economies.

7. The current NSIP project will run until 31 March 2014. For the next five year Control Period (starting on 1 April 2014), the Government has allocated a further £100million NSIP funding to be spent on improving station infrastructure and the passenger experience, plus a further £100million allocated to Access for All, a fund to improve access at stations and on trains. The cross-industry Local Delivery Group structure will continue into the next Control Period.


Railhub Archive ::: 2014-03-14 RDG-002





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